Collections - Towns and Communities - Etna
Town of Etna History
By Bonnie Nebeker
In 1879, the first log cabin was built where the G.W. McNeel ranch and the Salt River join. The cabin was built by men who were cutting ties and floating them down the river.
Later that year, George Heap, an early trapper, built his cabin on the east side of Salt River, near the place where Etna is now located.
Hadden, Loveland, Hansley, Ross and Woolsey were early settlers who settled on Birch Creek. During the first summer they were there, they cut hay, bunched it, and stuck a stick in the top of each bunch so that when the snow fell they would be able to find the hay. There was only one fault with this - when winter came the snow was so deep they couldn't find the sticks, let alone the hay.
Thomas W. Lee, known as "Tot" Lee, was credited with being the first school teacher to teach in a crude log school house about 1888.
In 1906, Rudolph E. Wolfley and his wife, Eliza N. gave the settlers a ten acre block of sagebrush covered land on which the Etna Church building was later located and the old school built.
The first little store was located in Mrs. Rudolph Wolfley's home in 1903 and stocked with just the barest necessities.
About 1907, the first post office was established with Eugene Weber as the first postmaster. Sylvia Stone Herric was the first mail carrier and carried the mail on horseback most of the time.
Preceded by the Baker Canal, the first irrigation project in Star Valley about 1906, and the McNeel Ditch, the East Side Canal Company completed a 20 mile canal drawing water from the Salt River in 1909.
Town of Etna Cemetery History
Location: From Highway 89 in Etna, turn east at the corner of the LDS (Mormon) Church onto LC 112. Travel approximately 1 mile then turn left (north). Stay on the paved road for 0.5 miles until the Etna-Alpine Cemetery sign is seen. Turn right (east) another 0.4 miles to the cemetery. (GPS: 43.04044N 110.98360W)
How Obtained: John Hardman donated about three acres to the Etna Ward for the purpose of establishing a cemetery.
History: by Wilford Clark
Prior to the establishment of the Etna Cemetery and the Amesville Cemetery, some bodies were buried along the road leading to the 4-H camp. Some members of the James Jordan family and others were buried there.
On the Lorin Robert's place, a grave can be found the member of "Morgan" family. It is marked with a cement slab. The inscription reads: H. L. Morgan 1888.
The Etna Ward was established in 1906 and in 1911 John Hardman donated about three acres to the Etna for purpose of establishing a cemetery there. His own child, a baby boy, marks the first grave. The ward members cleared, leveled ground, planted a lawn and fenced it. Part of the area is used to raise hay and provide a small source of income. There are about 87 or more graves. The oldest graves are: George Hardman - 5 February 1911, Ivy Hardman - 17 May 1911, Alice Lee - 3 June 1911 and Lillian Gertud Stephens - 12 July 1911.